Recently, I have connected on Instagram with the lovely Stel, a Food Freedom Coach. Her goal is to help with overcoming binging and overeating. She has a beautiful online platform that helps career women to trust themselves with food again and to get rid of the binge- guilt cycle, so that you can feel comfortable in your skin. Therefore, we have decided to come together for a collaboration blog post for all you lovely people!
Together we have talked about how to help improve people’s lives through having a better relationship with food, body and mindset. There are so many different diets and quick body fixes these days that it is hard to have a good connection with your body after overeating and not feeding it with nutritious foods. Does this sound like you? Do you feel like you want to have a good physical body but don’t know how? Body disorders or lack of body confidence should not be holding you back from living your best life. That is why we are here to help you rebuild yourself and to love your body again.
We hope that you enjoy this Q and A style blog and please feel free to share! Here we go…
So Stel, how did you get into this line of work?
This is such a great question, my day is filled with meditation, work, teaching yoga and helping amazing women win the battle against food. But it wasn’t always like this. 2 years ago, my life was a mess, I would wake up pinching my body (usually my waist and hips), swearing never to eat sugar/carbs again, only to binge later in the day.
I’ve been struggling with binge and emotional eating for 11 years. I was miserable and ashamed about how I looked in the mirror and felt very self-conscious when teaching yoga. This was not easy for me, as a yoga teacher and soon to be health coach, I felt I was never going to be able to help other women heal their relationship with food if I couldn’t get my own life in order.
I kept blaming food for my binge eating but it was only through the recovery journey that I realised binge eating was just a symptom of my underlying triggers.
Are you able to highlight to us what the usual indicators are of binge and overeating?
Absolutely, here are some of the more common ones:
𝙀𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙞𝙙𝙡𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙣𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙖𝙡:
Often your mind wants to hide the fact that we are binge eating, this could be due to shame but largely to distract you from the awareness that you are overeating. You find your mind switches off and you often scoff down food without even chewing.
𝙀𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙡𝙖𝙧𝙜𝙚 𝙖𝙢𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙛𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙥𝙝𝙮𝙨𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙝𝙪𝙣𝙜𝙧𝙮:
You’ve just finished a whole plate of food, but you are back for another helping, you feel so full but can’t stop the urge to eat more.
𝙀𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙡 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙪𝙣𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙮 𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙧 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙨𝙞𝙘𝙠:
Often there is an urge to keep going even though you feel ill.
𝙁𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙜𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛, 𝙙𝙚𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙙, 𝙤𝙧 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙜𝙪𝙞𝙡𝙩𝙮 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙙:
The old guilt and shame cycle that usually follows a binge can be extremely intense and can often lead to another binge because of the intense disappointment in yourself. Negative self-talk can be quite common.
𝙀𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙄’𝙫𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜:
Hiding your packaging or eating healthy in front of friends but stopping to buy binge food on your way home, eating at home alone.
How does this impact your health and are there any dangers?
Overeating occasionally has no real damage to your health. It’s when it becomes a pattern, repeated frequently where we need to start considering health risks. Mild symptoms of binge eating include stomach cramps, acid reflux and in some cases diarrhoea.
If you consistently binge on foods high in trans fats, added sugar and sodium, this could eventually affect your heart health. Years of binge eating can also affect your glucose metabolism, which is likely to increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Emotionally and mentally, the guilt and shame felt from overeating combined with the sense of lack of control affects self-worth which in turn could potentially contribute to feelings of depression.
How can we aim to have a better relationship with food and our body?
These are the 3 easy steps I help my clients with to start healing their relationship with food:
Become aware of how you feel:
If you are in tune with your body and your thoughts, you can catch urges, making it impossible to say no to food! Your body will start communicating when she’s hungry and when she’s had enough chocolate. You will become aware of emotions and you know how to find comfort without turning to food.
Make peace with food:
Letting go of all the food rules society has created for us, stop fighting food! Allow yourself permission to eat all foods, figure out how certain foods make you feel and eat more of the foods that make you feel amazing. Depriving yourself will eventually lead to you overindulging and naturally that will lead to feelings of guilt.
Honour your body:
Change the loop in your head about what you think of yourself and your body. What you say to yourself in thoughts or words can trigger a sense of unworthiness and this can lead to comfort eating!! Rather than finding fault, find appreciation for what your body does for you. Do something nice for yourself and your body, allow yourself to decompress daily and get plenty of rest.
What coping strategies are there that you would recommend?
First off, we need to let go of the guilt and shame we feel from overeating. Guilt has a low vibration and can often make us feel so overwhelmed that we want to eat more just not to feel guilty. I know this might be hard but approaching your overeating with compassion is a great start.
Seeing overeating as a symptom and asking yourself “what is going on right now that is making me feel so uncomfortable that I need a distraction?”, writing down what comes up for you. Journaling is a great tool to start uncovering underlying feelings, it’s also a helpful tool to process the emotions, sometimes even just writing things down can help release what we feel.
I usually recommend breathing work to my clients for slowing down the excessive thoughts associated with food. This creates a gap between the actual urge to eat and the reaction of reaching out for a pastry.
What would be your 3 top tips to help with this journey?
𝑻𝒉𝒆 3 𝑴𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝑰𝒎𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒕 𝑳𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒔 𝑰 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒎𝒚 𝒋𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚 𝒘𝒂𝒔:
- No diet will fix Binge eating disorder! Your problem is not with food, the binge is just a symptom of something bigger going on.
- Searching for endless watered-down answers on google is a waste of time and money, getting help from a specialist is not only a much faster route but in the long term saves a lot of money and anguish.
- Beating yourself up after a binge creates internal scars that are hard to heal. Approach your binge episodes with curiosity and compassion and be a lot more insightful in helping you heal.
WOW, thank you so much Stel. Such an inspiring person and your work is incredible. Below is a picture of Stel’s journey from 14 years ago to now. Doesn’t she look amazing? Not only has she done the outer work of changing your body, but you have done the inner work of creating a loving and harmonious relationship with food and changing your mindset. I love how you are now helping others and can be a beacon of light to those who are going through/have been on a similar path.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about your fantastic coaching practices and top tips for us, so thank you for sharing. I love the 3 important lessons, I think that is such a key take home message. If you want to connect with Stel or find out more check out below for her details.
I hope this has been helpful to you all.
Let’s live our best lives.
Love your body because you only have one – Strong Girlies
Want to know more about Stel?
Stel is the #1 authority in helping women overcome binge and emotional eating. Being a recovered binge eater, she knows how frustrating it is to lose control over food. Her mission is to help women heal their relationship with food and their bodies as there is more to life than thinking about food all the time.
You can find out more about her journey on her instagram page https://www.instagram.com/wholesomelifestyleproject/
Download her guide to help you quit binge eating for good,
In The ‘Quit binge eating FOR GOOD’ guide you’ll learn
- The top 3 reasons why you binge, this simple understanding will help you take back control around food.
- How to recognise your binge triggers, so that you can take action and break the hold food has on you
- How To FINALLY Overcome Binge Eating (most of which is easy to do when you understand your triggers).